User Adoption – All You Need to Know
While technology is changing and enterprises are embracing the change, users just cannot stay back. They too have to change their mentality and dump those old system for the new ones. Initial stages might be a difficult one, but as time progresses new technologies will prove to be a knight in shining armour. Change is constant, and users should be open about this change and transform themselves into using newer technologies. New software with enhanced features and functions are surely more productive, fast, and efficient. By adopting newer software the users actually would help themselves more than anybody else. For enterprise it’s a cost component which will have a better ROI as time advances and users get used to these new software.
The process that ensures every user to be successfully using a company’s particular software product or services to achieve their business goals is called User Adoption Tools. This is critical to SaaS business and if managed effectively, it can lead to higher retention rates and provides better ROI and revenue growths.
Fundamentals of User Adoption
Embracing a new software and turning productive is the basic genesis of User Adoption. Poorly managed software implementation or any out dated software can erode a firm’s productivity and efficiency. It leads to higher training budgets without any positive outcome. User Adoption is nothing but a change management.
Acceptance by the users is key to success for any software. If any new or improved product / service fails to attract the users for whatever reasons it may have, then the software is bound to fail despite all its modern features and facilities. The presentations or walkthroughs might look impressive but in reality if it creates ambiguity in users’ mind then they would definitely avoid using it. Similarly, a not so efficient software product might hit the jackpot if it is accepted and adopted by the users. User adoption is a gradual process and can’t be achieved overnight. Organisations have to implement various tools for smooth, seamless transition from old system into new and improved version. Hence, planning and implementation plays a vital role here.
User Adoption Strategies
Getting employees to adopt and use new technologies or software should be a no-brainer, yet it becomes hard to implement if proper strategy isn’t in place. People aren’t comfortable with change, even if it is for their betterment. And to make that change happen you need a proper plan.
Create a buzz
Let everybody in the office know about the new software. Create an event around the launch of this new technology. Let every employee attend the same, even all the top leaders should start talking about the new software and its benefits that the company and the employees will enjoy in the coming years.
Keep sending informative emailers about how the software can increase productivity and save time. Start promoting it internally among employees and externally among stakeholders. Create short videos, emailers, messages, webcasts, quizzes etc and ask employees to participate and spread the word. By doing this, the employees will remain charged up. Remember they will be the users and hence they should be enthused about the event.
Highlighting the upcoming launch or already launched software for enterprise use is important as it keeps the tempo on. It helps to spread positive word about the software.
Repeatedly exposing any initiative to the employees will create an impact in their mind and help in adoption. Print a T-shirt, organise a contest, invite employees to share their experience and share feedback – by doing so, employees feel comfortable in the implementation and usage of the new technology.
Engaging the users at initial stage or in a pilot launch will give long run results in the success of the software. User perspective is important in addressing the glitches that might be seen as an ambiguity in the software. Launch competitions, quizzes and wall-of-fame programs, so that the users are engaged full on.
Robust training mechanism
The training session should be simple, interactive and interesting. Any queries raised should be resolved on a real-time basis, so that the users are on their toes. In-person training, online videos, monthly newsletters etc should keep going on.
User-friendly guides should be published which would be less technical and more role-based scenario.
Strong support system
Besides having a robust FAQs and intranet articles, a support system capable of assisting users can boost up adoption.
Any delay in support can cause a drop in interest level thereby hampering the user’s enthusiasm with the new software.
Importance of User Adoption
Studies suggest that the reason for the failure of most of the software is not because of its functionality but due to lack of user adoption. The salesperson will highlight the features of the new product and will seal the deal, but if the user faces difficulty in accepting the use of the features, then it’s a futile attempt. Hence, implementation is key to success and user adoption is so crucial. Again, if half your employee is using the tool properly, while the other half is struggling with it then you might have a disaster to face.
Getting rid of the old system and adopting new automated ones actually has a positive effect on time management of users/employees. If any operation took 1 hour previously is now being completed in just half an hour, then that saved time can be productively used to get the best out of any employee. There’s an investment involved in the implementation and imparting training for the new product installed. Successful user adoption will always have a better ROI and make the company profitable in the long run.
There might be initial resistance towards change, but when more and more success story emerges, it would encourage users to adopt the new system for their own benefit. There should always be an X-factor or USP to be spoken about the new product, which when gives a real good experience, the user starts believing in it and becomes product advocates, spreading positive word of mouth. Depending on the type of business and the kind of software product, a user can be anyone – employee/customer/vendor/stakeholders.